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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • ahelmahelm Posts: 14
    I went by the owner's manual saying it is standard equipment. Ditto on remotes not coming with the used vehicle. Bought two remotes on ebay (searched for "astro keyless"), for $10 or so. Programing Instructions came with them. They work great!! -Andy
  • This is my first post to this board, but I feel the need to ask some questions. First off, I have a 97 Astro with over 115,000 on it. Just this week, the plastic tank radiator blew up. I noticed upon my inspection that the "knowledgeable" dealer had used regular antifreeze, not dexcool during a warranty replacement of the water pump. I only paid attention after buying the new plastic tank radiator and I noticed the sticker on it saying not to use with alkaline coolants. This is the fourth item to blow out in the past three months. So far. it's been one starter, one alternator, two idler arms, and now the radiator. Eleven months ago, we had to replace the all the fuel injectors, and the pressure regulator. The steering wheel vinyl is peeling and the drivers side power window is jamming intermittently again after we have had it replaced once already. The fuel pump was replaced when the van had about forty thousand miles on it.
    My question is "Where does this end? Is this just dumb luck, supposed to happen, or what?" I always take good care of my vehicles, and I have always used Mobil 1 in this van. Any input would be appreciated.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    Differential pinon shaft seal.
    O2 sensors, and there are three of them.
    If the van has been used in heavy duty service or towing, and the transmission & differential fluids were not changed every 30,000 miles or less, then there may be tranny and rear end failures.
    Serpentine belt.
    Radiator and heater hoses.
    Air conditioning compressor and hoses.
    Wiper motor circuit board.
    Possibly another fuel pump as they are about an 80,000 mile item.
    Some have reported door lock solenoid problems.

    By the cracking vinyl on the steering wheel, sounds like you live in a warm sunny climate.

    I have a 97 2wd Astro, but I only have 45,000 miles on it. I had the fuel injector assembly, serpintine belt, and pinion seal replaced under warranty. I also run Mobil 1 in the engine and differential.
    These are all normal wear items that start to show up after or around 100,000 miles on American iron. But, replace the few items an run another 100,000. Ain't no deal.

    Just hang in there and make a few repairs and enjoy the ride.
  • I called the Chevy parts department and asked for prices on the remote. He got my VIN# so he could find the right one and I asked him to confirm that my van was born with keyless entry. He looked it up and it was. Yeah!
    The chevy price was 70$ for the remote, but I got a brand new one on ebay for $25 incl. shipping.
  • biggrbiggr Posts: 9
    hello every one,this is my first post to this board.i have a 96 and a 99 chevy astro question is this;i bought some used but excellent condition rims and tires.they are 17x8 fronts and17x9.5 rears.on the 99,the van experienced severe body sway at about 35mph.i suspected the tires (bf goodrich 255/50's all around)so i took them off.i could still feel a very slight sway,but only on rough roads at high speeds.i purchased the 96 back in feb and put the wheels developed the same sway,but at 50mph.i have since changed the shocks and it now only does it under heavy acceleration at about 70mph or over rough roads.i suspect the tires are only part of the problem.any suggestions as im on a tight budget and i'm trying to avoid parts-changing.btw the 99 has an aftermarket rear swaybar,but didnt help at all with these wheels.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    Welcome to Town Hall. In addition to responses you may get here, check out the Tires, tires, tires discussion.



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  • biggrbiggr Posts: 9
    i,too, purchased my 99 astro used and about a year later,after changing a flat,upon returning the factory jack to it's space,i found a bag stuffed in was two keyless entry remotes!you wouldnt believe how surprised i was.try looking in that panel and maybe you'll get lucky too!
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Wrong wheels and tires for the job. Low profiles aren't the thing for vans. In fact, I've found that the BEST ride you'll get on a mid or fullsize van are load rated tires. C rated would be good enough for an Astro. Today, that means AT style tires. (In the old days you could get "reinforced" passenger style tires for fullsize cars, trucks and vans). I know it's tough to be a pimpin gangsta without the low profile tires but those 50's don't have enough load range for a van.
  • obus100obus100 Posts: 7
    Hi all. I have a 2001 Safari AWD with about 29,000 miles on it.

    The front end has been pulsing during braking since about 25,000 miles and I finally took it to the local Green Bay Wi dealer (Gustman's).

    They diagnosed it as warped front rotors. They ground the fronts disk rotors, ground the rear drums, and had the car back to me in 1.5 hours.

    All under warranty, all at no charge.

    I know a lot of people gripe about the quality of some of the dealerships but I have nothing but good to say about this one.

    This is the first real problem of any sort I have had on the unit and it has been in service for 18 months.

    At 29,000 miles 50% of the front pads and 60% of the rear pads lining is still left.
  • obus100obus100 Posts: 7
    One more post:

    My 2000 came without the power driver seat. Anyone know where I can find a good used one and retrofit it? Are the harness connnections there already?

    I am 6'5" and by redrilling the front seat mounts I gained 2" back movement of the manual seats on BOTH driver and passenger seats.

    I did this on my wife's Ford Explorer and on my 95 'Stang. Fords seat frames are intented for other hole locations, GM equipment is not.

    Helps those of you with leg room complaints, but cant do much about the foot room, especially the passenger side.
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I also have a 2001 Safari AWD. Have you had any issue w/ the front end grabbing after driving on the hwy? I have had the front case flushed a multiple of times just wondering if it's inherent. Also what kind of mileage you getting? I only get 14 in the city & 17.5 on the hwy at 65mpg. Thanks in advance for any answers.
  • biggrbiggr Posts: 9
    thanks for the reply on the tires.i had factory steel rims with dogdish hubcaps.i just bought chrome trim rings and caps for them and im gonna put them back on.i only got the 17"s because they were in excellent condition and a great price off ebay.they also look really good.maybe when i can afford some new 17 tires,i'll put em' back.
  • obus100obus100 Posts: 7
    Hi again

    No, no grabbing. Is it the pumpkin or the brakes? I so have had a moan coming from the power steering pump since day 1 and the dealer says it is the cooler unit. What do I know....

    I get 16-17 in town and 18-20 highway and have since day 1. I checked the computer against actual and it is right on with the calculations.

    I did notice that the engine has to warm up for about 20 minutes or so to get the best mileage.

    Try some injector cleaner in the gas tank and be sure your air cleaner filters are not crudded up. I get the best mileage on flat highways zipping along about 65-70 and just the two of us I get 20-21 averaging. Seems the big 6 in this unit does best efficiency when the van is clicking along at higher steady speeds.

    And the unit cant be beat in snow handling and that is with the cheapo Tiger Paws that come from the factory. I have 30,000 on them and they are about 1/2 gone so I will have to wait until 50,000 to put on Michelins.

    I took out the center seat and may never put it back in. Lots of leg room for the back seat and lots of storage room between.

    I also bought a matching color storage console off the web and can email you a photo if you like. Helps a lot with waste paper, small storage, etc. We keep a waste basket right in the console.

    Wish I had a power seat on my side, however.

    Even so, it is the ONLY vehicle I have ever owned that rides so smoothly down the highway and my rear end never gets sore from the long sits. I went from Toronto to Green Bay last spring nearly non-stop for 13hours and no pain when I got home.
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    Thanks for the response obus100,
    I do have the 3.73 rear end in my van and wonder if that might be addidng to my poor mileage? I have the same whine that sounds like a power steering pump but never had it checked out. The grabbing is from the pumpkin, it seems have a hwy drive & when you exit either off of the hwy or into a rest area & turn the front wants to grab. Guess I will have to grab the service manager by his neck & take him for a drive.
    Sometimes I wonder if I replaced the rear end w/ 3.55 or whatever the higher gear is that's std that my mileage would be much better. It gets pretty old getting 13.5 to 14 in the city & we are babying the thing & heck hwy at 65 & only 17.5 & the computer is always off w/ calculation. Guess your's is a middle of the week vehicle.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    We have a '95 model with the 3.42 rear axle. It gets no better than 21 hwy and 14 city and has done that since new. The 3.42 is, in my opinion, to tall a ratio for the van when doing stop and go driving. It tends to bog a bit when going into 2nd gear.
  • mwdreammwdream Posts: 91
    Car seems to be making popping sounds from the wheel wells, anybody have similar problem or know what this may possibly be?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    Sounds like a stupid question, but did you rule out flopping mudflaps? (I actually had cheap metal ones that made weird noises at speed). May as well hope for the cheap and easy fix first :-)

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  • I am looking into getting an AWD Astro van. I live in the CHicagoland area, and will be towing my camper. Do people in the snowbelt areas really appreciate the AWD or is just a waste of $$$?

    Griffith, IN
  • We recently purchased a 1997 Chev Astro LT and the Day Time Running lights were operating fine at the time. Until now. It appears they may have been disabled. See posts #20 and #24. Is there a way to enable the DRL? I have a 30 day safety certificate, I could always send it back to the dealer and have them repair it. All the fuses have been checked and are OK. The previous posts are speculating the DOME Overide switch may have been hit 5 times. Could this be true?

    P.S. I do not have a manual any help you be appreciated. Thankyou.

    P.P.S. I know you all hate DRL but it is our safety requirement up here in Canada.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    If you go to and click on Astro owners, there's a link to owners manuals. I didn't follow the link, so I don't know how far back they go, or how different they are from the Canadian flavors of Astros, but it's worth a shot.

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